First Reading: Deuteronomy 6:4-13
Moses said to the people: “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone! Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today. Drill them into your children. Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest. Bind them at your wrist as a sign and let them be as a pendant on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates. “When the LORD, your God, brings you into the land which he swore to your fathers: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that he would give you, a land with fine, large cities that you did not build, with houses full of goods of all sorts that you did not garner, with cisterns that you did not dig, with vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant; and when, therefore, you eat your fill, take care not to forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. The LORD, your God, shall you fear; him shall you serve, and by his name shall you swear.”
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 18:2-3A, 3BC-4, 47 & 51
I love you, O LORD, my strength, O LORD, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer. My God, my rock of refuge, my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold! Praised be the LORD, I exclaim! And I am safe from my enemies. The LORD live! And blessed be my Rock! Extolled be God my savior! You who gave great victories to your king, and showed kindness to your anointed, to David and his posterity forever.
Gospel: Matthew 17:14-20
A man came up to Jesus, knelt down before him, and said, “Lord, have pity on my son, who is a lunatic and suffers severely; often he falls into fire, and often into water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Jesus said in reply, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked him and the demon came out of him, and from that hour the boy was cured. Then the disciples approached Jesus in private and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
When reading the scriptures for today I couldn’t help but marvel at their current-time applicability. Timeless is the word of God!
Many of us have experienced a sort of cultural frustration recently as popular opinion has shifted dramatically in the last decade. Our world is becoming ever more secular and many faithful and devout Catholics have found themselves wondering when to speak out the truth in a world that has wandered into myths. Saint Paul reminds us as he write to Timothy that we are instructed to preach the word although many will not want to hear it. We are to endure suffering yet and hold fast while we evangelize.
How do we best fulfill our ministry and do the work of an evangelist in a world that has “itching ears”? How do we become teachers when the world looks to teachers who “suit their own likings”? How do we stay current to the times while still holding fast to the fundamental truths of our faith and our dignity as men and women?
The Psalm and the Gospel both give us the answer. We are to trust in the Lord, delight in the Lord, and commit our ways to the Lord. Too often we lament over the choices of others and even the choices of our leaders. We are not called to ring our hands and shed tears. We are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. We are called to be an example of love and truth and righteousness and compassion and all that is good. We are His people and our direction is clear. Our souls are His. We must not waver from His truth in hopes of being more popular or more palatable to the populace. The light of Christ shines in each of us and we are called to let that light shine unapologetically for His good. Let our works, our words, our deeds, our writing, joyously reflect His light, that we may brilliantly light a path for others to follow.
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Take heart dear sisters. You are not alone in this world. May our light, shining from every part of the world to be a little beacon of hope to others. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others and look for the light in your sisters when you feel alone.
MaryRuth Hackett is a full-time wife and mother doing her best to teach her four children to love God and country. You can find out more about her here.